At the recent MIC Congress, the Prime Minister had commented that a leader must not only be popular within the party but must be so among the people. It was clear to all that Dato Seri Najib was sending a clear message to MIC president Dato Samy Vellu.
Samy obviously knew he was the target of the message and had immediately responded to Najib's comments..He retorted that in last year's general election , the Indian community was fed up with Barisan Nasional (BN ), and not him.
Yesterday, Former Prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir had said he was worried that the people’s support for the BN would erode and the coalition would be the victim because Samy Vellu was still leading the MIC.He said that Samy Vellu must step down as party president because he must take responsibility for the party’s failure in the last general election and for his own loss.He also said leaders who resorted to money, pressure, abuse of power and threats could remain as party presidents but would not win elections.
The ball is now in Samy's court. Samy can continue to cling on to his position but he cannot deny the fact that never before in the history of BN history that has the chief of a component party been so bluntly told that he has become a political liability. If this is not political humiliation, then nobody will know what is humiliation.
The honorable thing that Samy should do is to either quit politics altogether or to get MIC to quit BN.
Last Sunday, Samy was quoted in the NST report as saying "We cannot forget one important point... the Indian community was wounded for many years. No approaches (were made) by the government to see what was the problem. Now they (the government) are very interested to see something done. If we had done it five, 10 or 15 years ago, what is happening today would not have happened,".
Such remarks have clearly meant that Samy has admitted that both the BN government and MIC have failed the Indian community. Isn't such admission good enough reason for Samy to either quit as MIC president or for him to get MIC to quit BN?
In May last year, former Gerakan president Dato Seri Lim Kheng Yaik had told Sin Chew Daily that BN component parties like MCA, MIC and Gerakan ended up with status like that of "beggars" as they were not treated as equal partners in the BN coalition.
With the lack of confidence from the Prime Minister in his ability to regain Indian support, how could Samy change MIC's "beggar "status in the BN coalition and prevent the Indian community from being further wounded?
It will be Samy's choice if he chooses to remain as MIC president and continue to be wounded by humiliating remarks that he has become a political liability, but he should realise that the real and honorable choice for him is to either quit politics altogether or for MIC to quit the BN coalition of which he has claimed people are fed up.